This article is part of our Insider’s Guide to Disneyland, from the November 2017 issue of the magazine.
Since California Adventure’s debut in 2001, the junior park has struggled to find its identity. It has never had Disneyland’s crowds or level of creativity. And while the California motif is nice enough as narratives go, it’s a broad one. So the powers that be have been gradually tweaking the formula, scrapping the park’s strongest Golden State tie-ins. No more farm or tortilla factory, California history movie or swing ride shaped like a giant orange. Even its most heralded attraction, Soarin’ Over California, has changed; it is now Soarin’ Around the World.
With the recent retooling of Tower of Terror into Guardians of the Galaxy—Mission: Breakout!, Disney seems to have officially thrown in the towel on that theme. (For those who haven’t braved the two hour-plus lines, the drop ride’s interior holds a lot more interest than its sewage treatment plant exterior.
Remade as the Collector’s Fortress, the building is filled from floor to rafters with curiosities, from Marvel and Tower of Terror props to Disneyland throwbacks, like the octopus from the Country Bear Vacation Hoedown, the Matterhorn’s previous Yeti, robotic remnants from Innoventions’ Tom Morrow, and the head of a Small World doll.)
Guardians is the first step in adding an entire Marvel universe. At least two major attractions are said to be in the works—one themed to Spider-Man and the other to the Avengers. The latter, originally conceived as a turbo-launched indoor coaster, is being redesigned as part thrill ride, part dark ride, with story, projections, effects, and animatronics.
Both rides could be squeezed onto the last corner of Disneyland’s old parking lot, but the Mouse is seriously considering whether to expand the Marvel kingdom to consume part or all of neighboring A Bug’s Land. Aside from live entertainment, though, you shouldn’t expect any Marvel other than Guardians before 2020.
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